Pastel digital waves appear on the screen, with two letters to the left and a row of letters scrolling on the bottom. As the text loads, the waves increase and fold together.
Christina Aguilera mans the controls. She presses two yellow buttons and views the various versions of her appearing on the multiple screens: Catwoman, 1920s street photographer, 60s era trendy teen driving a sports car and a sullen close up.
She puts both hands together, forming a frame. The first version of her appears in black-and-white. Her images shakes, with lines cutting through it as she fades into color. She brightens the colors and fixes the footage, erasing the lines.
She puts her hand out and waves her hand away. The vintage version of her is wooshes it away. She flicks and punches the screen: in a canary yellow field, she rides a children’s bicycle.
She looks down at her cell phone and grins, choosing the photo of herself she likes best and sends it to the computer.
Looking at the screen, she designs the type of car she wants for herself and places the photo on her phone. Her image drives the sports car.
She flips through a series of hand drawn illustrations of Catwoman. The color wheel pops up and she adjusts it. She puts the image of herself, striking lightning with her hands. She changes the era to the damaged footage in black-and-white. She slumps in her chair.
With infrared waves on her computerized body, she uses her hands to fix her chin and measurements of her body.
Aguilera, as Catwoman, speeds by on a motorcycle through the pastel waves. She shoots a gun under a polka-dotted disco ball. She changes the background of the drawing as Catwoman doing the splits. Aguilera’s face becomes pixellated. As Catwoman, she bends down again.
Aguilera turns off the computer.
The Sims is a wonderful game. Using a scale, a person can give the computerized human a protruding chin and puffy lips. Eye color can be decided as well as hair style. The Sim can wear pajamas all the time, if that’s the choice.
However, watching Christina Aguilera fiddle with controls in a futuristic version of it, which is a mix of photoshop, video game and film making, is similar to training for a job for fours on end, fighting to stay awake. The good girl biking through the field, the haughty teen driving the car and the vintage photographer all stay still and remain in the background.
Aguilera as Catwoman, though, is a boost of creative energy, cracking the screen with her gun. By putting her in a graphic novel and then changing it into moving Pop Art, Catwoman becomes a thrilling, three-dimensional character with a backstory behind her intense eyes. In turn, it draws attention to other dry versions who faded and couldn’t keep her interest.
Director: Peter Berg Year: 2008